YSS-10906 Analysis of a Problem Situation


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Group work15
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. PBM Berentsen
Lecturer(s)dr. NM Teeuwen
dr. IJJ de Zwarte
dr. ir. GM Verschoor
prof. dr. CN van der Weele
dr. ir. FJHM Verhees
dr. G van der Velde
drs. LFP Pijnenburg
dr. JGM Jacobs
dr. NBM Heerink
prof. dr. ir. H Hogeveen
dr. ir. G van der Haar
dr. ir. ARH Fischer
dr. ir. MG Bulkens
dr. B Haverkamp
dr. ir. O Hospes
SHM Laas
L Schomberg
dr. V Blok
CJ van der Steen
Examiner(s)dr. ir. PBM Berentsen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

This course makes use of the knowledge acquired in the first year courses in P1 to P5 of the respective programmes: BBC, BEB, BIN and BCW.


This course follows the so-called 'problem-oriented' method which means that students are required to apply the knowledge they have acquired previously on a complex societal problem. To this end, students first make a choice between seven themes. Once a theme is chosen students (in a group) write a proposal to analyse the problem at hand, emphasising ethical aspects. On the basis of this proposal students carry out a (desk) study based on literature and/or interviews and present a final report (both orally and written) of their findings. An important characteristic of the groups is that these are composed of students coming from various disciplines so as to ensure a multi-disciplinary approach.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- jointly recognise a complex societal problem through the precise phrasing of a problem statement;
- jointly demonstrate - through the drafting of a research proposal - the relation between a complex societal problem and the applicability of scientific knowledge, as well as the ethical aspects entailed;
- demonstrate, both jointly and individually, that they are proficient in obtaining scientific data according to a pre-established work plan;
- prove, both jointly and individually, that they can systematically apply disciplinary and thematic knowledge and skills to the analysis of scientific data;
- make evident, as a group, that they can provide an account of the analysis of scientific data by means of a report of 7,500 words (and presentation thereof) that aims to propose a solution to a concrete societal problem.


- introductory lectures to the theme;
- working lectures;
- practicals of individual self-activation;
- one-day excursion;
- writing of a research proposal and a scientific report;

- presentation of the research.


Final grading is based on a group grade adjusted by a factor for individual performance. The group grade should be 5.5 at the minimum and is based on:
- the group assignments (15%);
- the research proposal (15%);
- the final report (45%);
- the philosophical and ethical aspects in the final report (20%);
- the presentation of the final report (5%).
The individual factor is based on mutual grading by the group members (50%) and grading by the supervisor (50%). The final grade for each individual student is the group grade, multiplied by the relative deviation of the individual grade of the student from the mean individual grade of the group members.


Start-up literature is available at the beginning of the course, final literature depends on the theme and the research proposal.

Compulsory for: BBCManagement and Consumer StudiesBSc6AF
BINInternational Development StudiesBSc6AF
BCLCommunication and Life SciencesBSc6AF
BEBEconomics and GovernanceBSc6AF